As you may guess from his Shakespeare-inspired* title, John Green is an author who refuses to condescend to his readers. Although his books are full of interesting references and child prodigy characters that spout poetry or, in the case of Looking for Alaska, are obsessed with the last words of historical figures, Green wears his intellectualism lightly. I feel more knowledgable for reading one of his novels, but mainly I fall in love with the characters and care deeply about how things will turn out. Just as it should be.
The Fault in our Stars is a romance between two teens who meet at cancer support group. Here’s the Amazon blurb:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means) Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly, to her interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
I’ve read the first two chapters and, to resort to review cliché for a moment, they made me laugh out loud and weep a little onto my keyboard. The book is published on the 19th January but you can you can listen to John Green read the first chapter of the book here and pre-order a signed* copy here.
* The quote that inspired the title is from Julius Caesar, fact fans: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves”.
**John Green has autographed every single book in the first printing, so all pre-ordered copies will be signed. I’ve given a link to Amazon, but do support your local bookshop if you’re lucky enough to have one.